How to Throw a Great Backyard Wedding

Sometimes a couple prefers to reject the sometimes sterile atmosphere of a banquet hall for their wedding, and instead do it themselves, in their own yard. But hosting a successful backyard wedding takes a lot more than just setting up some tables and chairs. This article will show you how to put on an intimate, problem-free wedding at home.

It doesn’t have to be elegant. This is not a high heels, top hat and tails gala. It’s a picnic, or barbecue, you’re throwing for your friends. A rustic, homey feel is encouraged.

Look for creative décor. Old doors, movable pergolas (arches), barrels, wooden signs, antique tables and dressers, and old-fashioned picture frames all fit nicely into a yard party.

Rent a tent. There’s nothing like rain to bring a yard party to an instant end. But setting up a tent for dining and dancing ensures that the party will go on, rain or shine. Tent rental companies can provide lighting for their tents if you wish, and flaps for the sides if it’s windy or chilly.

Rent a couple of generators – big ones. You’ll need more than just household current to power all your lighting, your meal preparation equipment, your DJ’s sound system, your photographer’s equipment, etc.

Set up games. One great advantage to a yard party is that kids of all ages can run and play without banging into anything breakable. Games like Lawn Jenga, Ring Toss, Lawn Dice, Beanbag (Cornhole) and so forth will engage your guests who want to take a break from dancing or conversation.

Don’t forget a bar. There are companies that specialize in providing mobile bar service. Be sure you have a covered space for your bar, so your poor bartender(s) don’t have to stand in the rain.

String lighting. If you can arrange to drape string lights across your yard, you’ll create a nice festival feel when the sun goes down, and not everyone will have to stay in your tent.

A fire pit. If you already have one, that’s great. If not, simply digging out a shallow hole about 4 to 6 feet across should accommodate your firewood; and surround your pit with a dozen of more chairs. They don’t have to match. Go for relaxed comfort over high style.

A s’mores bar. What’s a fire without s’mores? Provide plenty of long sticks for roasting.

Rent a dance floor. It’s hard to dance on grass.

Get a caterer who’s done lots of outdoor events. Here in Chicagoland, Uncle Bub’s and Tasty Catering are among the best caterers for backyard weddings.

Be sure to rent your tables, chairs, linens, flatware, serving dishes and so forth. That seems obvious, but some people forget that all those things don’t just happen by themselves. Find a rental company that can set you up with everything you need.

Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have the makings of a fun, relaxed, memorable wedding reception at home.

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2017 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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